Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’.
This famous phrase has got to be one of the biggest lies that we teach, especially to young people.
Language is a powerful instrument and if we use it inappropriately through what we say or write, it can destroy lives.
Why is it that so many of us feel it’s okay to comment about people with others and to someone’s face?
An increasing number of people are becoming affected by what someone has said towards them.
Something someone may see as a joke can be serious to another person.
Often we may say things to someone else that are delivered as a joke, however, it may not necessarily be taken that way.
Imagine calling someone ‘ugly’. That word can go one way or another. It can either be taken on the chin with a smile and digested as a joke, or it can dig deep and really stir something negative inside someone.
Many of us are oblivious to the consequences of saying something innapropriate.
I think it’s evident that verbal and written abuse has become a big problem.
With social media more people can remain anonymous in what they say to others. People across the globe can be hit hard by the words another says.
Frequently I have seen friendship groups refer to each other using abusive or offensive names. This may be seen as acceptable amongst those involved, but it can actually damage someone’s confidence and self-belief.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been involved in calling friends by various nicknames.
First of all I thought that it was okay until they said something. I felt terrible because I was so unaware how they felt.
It really is eye-opening to discover the impact the words you speak or write can have on someone.
It is unfortunate that we live in a society where a growing number of young people suffer from illnesses such as depression.
Language used inappropriately is something we should all be aware of.
We need to be more considerate about what we say. If you know of anybody suffering from what others are saying to them, then do what you can to support them.
Remember that people can and do take what is said to heart.
Don’t be that person who joins in, but be someone prepared to help.